What is a full buyout? Learn more about billing options and gain access to valuable business templates here.

As one whiles away Friday afternoon and answers a support case, inspiration strikes…! One of the questions received this week was “What is a Buyout”? For those of you who have agents or managers that see to billing clients for you, or, for those of you new to the voice-over arena, this is a completely legitimate question and we’re happy to be of service! A full buyout (as opposed to monthly, quarterly or annual billing cycles) is a one time payment from the client to you for your voice-over services.

Generally, the notion of a buyout applies to non-union voice-over work. A full buyout means that you as the service provider are making an agreement with your client that lets them use the audio for however long and for whatever purposes they would like. For example, XYZ company hires you to record a :30 radio commercial for use at the local radio station to air for 6 weeks. You would quote accordingly and invoice your client X amount of money for the :30 radio commercial. The client would pay you the amount that you quoted and that would be it.

Essentially, the recording becomes their property and once you are paid in full for the work, you won’t make money from that voice-over recording again. Some talents arrange for residuals or royalties to be paid to them in the event that the audio is used during particular seasons or for prolonged periods of time – each agreement is different depending on the circumstances and nature of the voice-over work.

When quoting for a job using the buyout arrangement, be sure that you are being properly compensated for the work – don’t compromise just to make a quick buck. You can find a document with suggested rates for a number of different applications, perfectly suitable for buyout terms here.

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Stephanie,
    Searching for guidelines on in perpetuity buy-out rates for for internet us of VO on 2 corporate scripts. The link above isn’t working. Can you help me out?


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